8 But God found fault with the people and said: “The days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah. 9 It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they did not remain faithful to my covenant, and I turned away from them, declares the Lord. 10 This is the covenant I will establish with the people of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. 11 No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. 12 For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” 13 By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear.
I heard someone say recently that reading the Book of Hebrews is a great way to understand the fulfilment of the Old Testament in the New Testament. Reading this passage, I can certainly see how this is true. Here we see that God has thrown out the Old Covenant that He had made with His people, replacing it with a New Covenant. The Old Covenant was a series of laws, written on tablets, that were so thorough and in depth that they were essentially impossible to keep. In fact the very purpose of these laws was to show the people that they weren’t able to save themselves through their own actions – they needed a saviour, Jesus.
This still holds true for us today. Even as I have followed Christ for many years, I find that it can be very easy to slip into the habit of trying to do or be ‘good enough’ in order to feel like I am doing my part as a ‘good Christian’. Of course, ultimately I can’t ever be good enough on my own, no matter how hard I try – like the Israelites in the Old Testament, all my efforts do is point to my need for a bigger, perfect saviour. I love that verse 10 tells us that in this New Covenant, God has written His laws on our hearts and our minds. No longer are they etched on cold stone tablets, rather they are written into us that we would know who God is and what He has called us to, and we can have faith that He will enable us to live obedient lives towards Him. It is this obedience to what He has called us to that is far greater than our feeble attempts at being good enough for Him.
God, thank you that you provided a way for us to know you and that you desire to know us. Help us to rely on you for our salvation, never getting caught up in the trap of trying to be ‘good enough’’. Thank you that you help us to be obedient to all that you have called us to. Amen.
Written by Ps. Madelaine Tarasenko